For those looking to avoid high gas prices and embark on an increasingly-popular ‘staycation' that will still offer- adventure, quality time with their kids and a respite from their daily lives we've got 7 ways to make your family staycation anything but ordinary!
In fact, parents can set up a summer vacation- like experience right in their own backyard-and create a family summer vacation at home – rain or shine.
Here is what you'll need for our 7 ways to make your family staycation anything but ordinary and how to get organized! It will help you be picnic-ready and will simplify planning so you can get out the door faster and have more time to enjoy some good food and quality family time.
7 ways to make your family staycation anything but ordinary
Purchase disposable plates, cups, napkins, utensils, like Preserve's Everyday plastic dinnerware which is designed for repeated use and are a sustainable alternative to disposable plates. They are also 100% recyclable! Get some unbreakable salt and pepper shakers and a tray. Store them near the back door for quick table-setting outside.
(The Sharper Image complete badminton set features two collapsible rackets with soft foam handles, a jumbo Led shuttlecock and a standard birdie. All you need to start playing is some space and a net.)
Buy some yard-game equipment like; These flying discs, which are — the next generation of Frisbees. You remember those, don't you? Well, the Sky is better, much better, in fact. Precision-weighted at 175g, the disc is designed with a computer aid and perfectly ergonomic — meaning playing with pals in the park will never be the same again. Also horseshoes, badminton or crochet gear and keep all gear in one place.
Be ready for critters. Stock up on citronella candles to ward off mosquitoes. Plant marigolds and mint (natural bug deterrents) near where you eat on your patio or deck. Keep a trashcan nearby for fast clean-up. Glue a pest strip to the lid to keep flies away.
Stash old bedspreads or quilts in a convenient closet to pull out and lay on after dark.
Download and print a star chart ( or get this book –it isn't your grandfather's dusty ol' field guide. Inspired by the look and feel of the well-received Get Outside Guide , the National Geographic Kids Ultimate Explorer Field Guides are pocket-sized starting points for beginners learning about the natural world around them. The field guides feature pages packed not only with the facts, figures, and pertinent information about each animal or object, but also include background, fun facts, weird but true nuggets, and activity prompts to inspire curious minds. After reading these books, kids will be excited to get outside and experience all the natural world has to offer.) And have a flashlight handy so you can identify specific constellations and planets. The only thing you may need to purchase is batteries.
Buy a few squirt guns – With the Simba Toys Waterzone Water Blaster 3000 you are ready for any water battle! The water gun has an efficient pumping mechanism to shoot water up to an impressive 26 feet. The 800ml water tank means less fill ups during your water battle.and packages of water balloons. Keep them hidden so you can pull them out for some impromptu fun.
#1 Play tourist. Just like you would research things to see and do at any vacation spot, do some online research about what people do when they come to New York on vacation. Make a list of potential outings and activities, and let family members add their ideas. Decide how many you can work into your budget and your schedule, and put “staycation” days on your calendar.
#2 Put a different spin on the usual. If you decide to spend a staycation day at an amusement park, visit one you've never been to before. Or add challenge at a zoo or museum. Research online the animals you can expect to see at the zoo. Write down their scientific names and take the list with you. After you locate all of the animals by their scientific names, let your kids get a treat or souvenir. Learn about the exhibits you'll see at a museum, and do the same thing.
#3 Gather what you'll need beforehand. Do everything you can in advance– go to the ATM machine, lay out clothing and gear, pack non-perishables in your picnic basket–so that you'll have minimal preparation on your staycation day.
#4 Take a vacation from electronic devices. Disconnect from the world (turn off cell phone, pda, landline, computer, iPod) so you can connect with your family. Parents, set the example. Don't even check your e-mail before you leave. Give your mind a complete rest from work, and focus on your family.
#5 Take a vacation from chores. Give everyone a pass on household chores. Consider using some of the money you're saving by not traveling on maid service for a day.
#6 A little extra: Purchase some chocolate mints and ask a friend or neighbor to turn down your beds and put a mint on your pillows before you get home. Return the favor when they take a staycation day.
#7 Take photos. Don't forget to save the memories just like you would on vacation away from home.